When it was announced that Paul George requested a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA community was nothing short of shocked. But for his star teammate Russell Westbrook, it was nothing he didn’t already know was coming.
“I can’t be surprised if me and Paul were in communication the whole time,” Westbrook said in an interview with Rob Mahoney of Sports Illustrated. “So I wouldn’t say I was surprised at all. I’m all for doing what’s best for my teammates. If Paul felt like it was time for him to move on and explore options, then I’mma back him. That’s the type of relationship we have.”
According to Russ, he and Paul George were in communication all throughout the process. When the deal finally got done, Westbrook ended up moving on as well.
In their two seasons together, PG and Russ didn’t exactly achieve an overwhelming amount of success. They were bounced early in the postseason each time, as injury and inconsistency rattled their chances.
This time, though, their relationship and handling of the situation avoided tensions — tensions akin to the one KD suffered when he abruptly left OKC after telling his teammates he would be re-signing just days earlier.
Hopefully, both Westbrook and George can find success in their new journeys ahead.